Don’t all drugs have side effects?
In a general sense, all actions have consequences, so yes, it may be that any medication you take will have side effects. But medications and medical devices are meant to heal not injure, to help not hurt.
If you have been made sick, injured, harmed, or had your condition worsen on account of a prescription medication, over-the-counter drug, nutritional or dietary supplement, or medical implant or device, you could have a legal claim.
How do I know if I have been hurt by a medical device or prescription medication?
There is no easy answer for this, as it depends on the situation. But at NB&W, we want to help people in our community who have been hurt, so contact us with any questions – we offer case consultations free of charge and with no obligation.
If you have been prescribed a medication or been treated with an implant or device and are suffering from unusual and harmful side effects, first seek medical attention and next follow up with an attorney to discuss your rights and options.
Much information exists about various dangers, side effects, FDA warnings and recalls, and pending lawsuits for various pharmaceutical products on the news and the internet.
Will I become part of a class action suit?
The general answer is not necessarily, but there are variables that will be specific to your situation.
If you have been hurt by a medical device or prescription, you have legal rights that are yours alone – meaning you have the choice to seek legal counsel and pursue your claims.
If we work together on your legal claim, you have the choice of whether you become involved in an existing class action suit or pursue your claims individually – no one can make that choice for you. We are available to discuss your rights and options with you for no charge or obligation.
Depending on the medication you were prescribed or device you were treated with, where you live, and when you used it, you may be eligible for participation in a class action suit.
And depending on the specifics of your injury and treatment, you may be a part of a pending or forming class action suit. It is important to pay attention if you receive notice by mail or through publication in a local paper if you are part of a class, as this suit will permanently affect your legal rights if you choose to participate or do not opt out of the class. Be sure to follow up with those in charge to find out the status of the case and your role. If you are unsure, consult an attorney if you would like legal advice on what options you have and what the consequences of those choices may be.
What if I took the generic drug and not the name brand pharmaceutical?
All drugs are given two names – a brand name and a generic name that represents the chemical compounds. There is no difference between this for the first several years of the pharmaceutical product’s existence prior to when the manufacturer’s patent expires.
After the patent expires and other companies are free to manufacture similar products, they are able to produce other generic versions of the drug or device. These should have the same active ingredients. However, the chemical makeup will likely not be identical. The original pharmaceutical and the later generic manufactured by a different company may have the same treatment effects and same side effects, or they may vary.
Which medication you took or device you used will affect your case and dictate the defendants involved. Cases like these require extensive investigation to gather the necessary evidence.
If the FDA approved the medication, doesn’t it mean it is safe?
As we know, all actions have consequences, and so too do all drugs have side effects. Some side effects are just uncomfortable, while others can be serious or deadly.
When drugs are being researched and developed, they undergo testing for safety and effectiveness. However, we also know that sometimes hidden side effects emerge after the drug is on the market and people are getting sick and hurt. Likewise, the FDA rates and tests and approves various medical products, but still, some are later recalled, and unfortunately, this is usually after people are hurt or get sick.
Simply, there is no way to test and ensure that all medications and devices are totally, completely safe. Just because the FDA has approved a medical product does not mean it is without risk.
You should always consult your doctor before taking any medication and you should be sure your doctor is aware of all of your medial history – the more information he or she has, the better. And you should always be wary of the listed side effects on your medication’s warning labels. You can read about the FDA’s safety monitoring for various drugs and devices on their website here: http://www.fda.gov/default.htm